RATM Facebook campaign has the Xmas factor

Facebook, I will do what you tell me...
Facebook, I will do what you tell me...

After a much-publicised Facebook campaign, Rage Against The Machine made it to the top of the music charts in the UK on Sunday, pipping the X-Factor's Joe McElderry to the Christmas number one spot.

It was X-rated versus X-Factor in the battle for the top spot, with RATM's expletive-filled 1992 song Killing In The Name winning by 50,000 downloads to beat Simon Cowell's protégé.

Even though Killing In The Name was only available via downloads, it still managed to be purchased 500,000 times, compared to McElderry's single which notched up 450,000 sales.

Not doing what they tell you

The unlikely people behind getting Rage Against The Machine to the top of the charts, were husband and wife Tracy and Jon Morter – A UK couple whose campaign on Facebook garnered over 1 million fans.

Once the campaign hit the mainstream, online websites like Amazon began selling the single at a cut-price of 29p, something that you have to (X)factor in when considering just how the band got to be Christmas number one.

Cowell, who just last week was labelled as 'The Grinch' by the NME, has previously managed to get his acts to number one at Christmas for the last four years. He is said to be "gutted" about the announcement.

While Killing In The Name may not be a song you put on while eating your Christmas lunch with the folks, it does prove the power of social-networking when it can beat even the most powerful man in the music business.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.